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PEN SA Dialogue on #FeesMustFall and the Media

PEN South Africa, in association with Wits Journalism, invites you to attend a dialogue on the #FeesMustFall movement and media representation.

The upcoming anniversary of the #FeesMustFall movement offers a time to reflect on the students’ relationship with the media, how the movement has been reported in mainstream media and what alternatives have been offered by social media. This is an opportunity for media practitioners, researchers and activists to reflect and assess traditional tools of the reporting trade.

Speakers: Researcher Selina Linda Mudavanhu and journalist Sarin Drew will be discussing the relationship between the media and the #FeesMustFall movement.

Date: Tuesday 4 October 2016
Time: 6 PM for 6:30 PM
Venue: King Kong, 6 Verwey Street, Troyeville, Johannesburg
RSVP: Oratile Mashazi on


Kom gesels met die skrywer van Dirk Mudge: Enduit vir ’n onafhanklike Namibië in Pretoria

Uitnodiging na 'n gesprek met Dirk Mudge

Dirk Mudge: Enduit vir ’n onafhanklike NamibiëDirk MudgeProtea Boekhuis nooi jou graag na ’n gesprek met Dirk Mudge.

Marinus Wiechers en Riaan Eksteen gesels op Woensdag, 28 September met die skrywer oor sy boek, Dirk Mudge: Enduit vir ’n onafhanklike Namibië.

Die gesprek vind plaas by Protea Boekwinkel Hatfield en begin om 18:30 vir 19:00. Toegang is gratis en verversings sal bedien word.

Moenie dit misloop nie!



Don't miss the launch of Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela And Me: A Memoir of Sorts by Marianne Thamm at Love Books

Invitation to the launch of Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela And Me: A Memoir of Sorts

Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela And Me: A Memoir of SortsTafelberg Publishers and Love Books invite you to the launch of Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela And Me: A Memoir of Sorts by Marianne Thamm.

Thamm will be delving deeply into her unconventional life story in conversation with Alison Lowry.

The launch will take place on Monday, 26 September at Love Books in Melville, Joburg.

See you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Monday, 26 September 2016
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books
    The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre
    53 Rustenburg Road
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Alison Lowry
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine
  • RSVP: , 011 726 7408

Book Details

From servant to legend: AB de Villiers chats about his cricket career at the launch of his autobiography

Image: Danielle de Villiers on Instagram

AB: The AutobiographyProteas star batsmen and captain AB de Villiers was at the Wanderers Stadium recently to launch his new book, AB: The Autobiography.

De Villiers scored the fastest century ever in one day international history at The Wanderers, so it was a fitting venue to launch his autobiography. He regaled the audience with tales of his boyhood and the different stages of his cricket career before his rise to stardom and prominence with the Proteas.

There were times De Villiers didn’t know if his career would pan out, he said at the night.

“I always believed that I was destined for something great,” he said, but admitted doubts arose from him playing in the second team. Speaking of the transition from school to international cricket, De Villiers said: “When I left school it was all very confusing.”

So confusing that De Villiers, who for a while studied Sport Science, spoke of the “drop zone” – a zone where there was “lots of beer … friends” and him driving in his mother’s blue Jetta, thinking he was “the coolest guy in the world”.

Before he knew it, “six months were gone”, with De Villiers not knowing what he was doing with his life.

At this stage De Villiers was still playing cricket for the second team. However, by taking his chances and utilising the opportunities he got, it wasn’t long he was playing for the first team.


These are some of the stages De Villiers documents in his book. Ex-cricketer and now commentator Mpumelelo Mbangwa, who was in conversation with the star batsman, asked De Villiers about his state of mind ahead of his international debut for the Proteas in a Test match in 2004.

“It was a bit crazy, playing with legends of the game like Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher,” De Villiers said, adding that life in the national team was always a challenge.

Having played just a few first-class games, playing for the national team was a mental test, and it was a lean period for De Villiers, with runs hard to come by. The batsman said he felt lucky to be playing in the first team considering his poor record at the time.

De Villiers also spoke of the senior players who sternly advised him to step up his batting performance. “I was almost a servant, in my first year. I didn’t feel like I belonged performance-wise,” he said.

De Villiers has gone on to play 98 consecutive Tests for the Proteas since his debut – a feat no other Test cricketer has achieved ever.

Speaking of his strategy, De Villiers said: “I go with my instincts at times. I do gamble at times, like most of other captains.” He added that a team of analysts and other professionals were always at hand to assist.

Fear of failure makes him nervous, he said. But he has managed to turn that handicap into an advantage, saying: “The more nervous I am, the better I play.”

The next major tournament top on De Villiers’s mind is the 2019 Cricket World Cup. He hopes to lift the trophy with the Proteas.

Lungile Sojini (@success_mail) tweeted live from the launch:

The event was photographed by Nicolise Harding – Photography & Design:

Book details

Don't miss Thiven Reddy discussing nationalism and the geography of power after apartheid at WiSER

Invitation to the launch of South Africa, Settler Colonialism and the Failures of Liberal Democracy

South Africa, Settler Colonialism and the Failures of Liberal DemocracyWiSER and Wits University Press invite you to a book launch and discussion of nationalism and the geography of power after apartheid.

In 2000, Thiven Reddy published Hegemony and Resistance: Contesting Identities in South Africa. His new book, South Africa, Settler Colonialism and the Failures of Liberal Democracy, deepens his earlier critique of conventional approaches to democratisation. In particular, he reinterprets South African political dynamics in reference to two “publics” – the formal constitutional arena of modernist institutions, regular elections, political parties and social rights; and the domains of what he terms “the extraordinary”, that is, the infatuation with threats and actual use of violence, the re-racialisation of identities and the proliferation of various forms of protest.

To debate his hypothesis and to assess the pertinence of his findings in the context of the ongoing shifts and realignment within the South African polity, the author will be in conversation with Achille Mbembe, Research Professor in History and Politics (WiSER), and Zimitri Erasmus, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand. Chaired by Shireen Ally, Associate Professor, Wits Department of Sociology.

Event Details

Book Details

How to have sympathy for the cops AND the drug dealers: The Street by Paul McNally launched at Love Books

The StreetThe Street: Exposing a World of Cops, Bribes and Drug Dealers by Paul McNally was launched at Love Books in Melville recently, in the company of Anton Harber, ENCA Editor-in-Chief and Caxton Professor of Journalism, and Carolyn Raphaely, senior journalist at Wits Justice Project.

McNally is an award-winning journalist and the Director of Citizen Justice Network. The event at Love Books was packed.

Harber called the book: “A remarkable piece of writing.”

“Seldom these days we see books in journalism based on patient, detailed reporting by someone who is prepared to spend days, weeks and months observing, interviewing and doing the hard work of basic journalism,” he said.

The book follows the corrupt relationship between the police and the drug dealers in Johannesburg.

“Paul has given us insights into crime and the fight against it from ground level. The kind of grainy detail that you can only get from that combination of patience and commitment,” he said.

“What I found most fascinating about his book is that it’s not about crime, it’s not about good and bad, villains and victims. What he shows us that is it often very difficult to tell the difference between them,” Harber continued.

“So it’s an important book but most of all it’s a rarely found enthralling read. I would go so far as to say that you will have difficulty understanding crime and the fight against it in this country unless you have read this book. It’s a must-read for anyone trying to understand this issue, this city and this country,” Harber said.

The Street follows the stories of three characters. The first is Raymond, a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. But he is also against the corruption: he systematically records in his notebook when the police officers come to collect their bribe money from the dealers. And he plans all manner of schemes from his shop on how to disrupt the system.

The second character is a police officer called Khaba who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession.

The third character (who came to the launch to receive her signed copy) is Wendy, a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence.

The story of The Street developed as a project based at Wits Justice Project around the Sophiatown police station.

And ultimately the author became entrenched in the world on Ontdekkers in west Johannesburg. He spent two years investigating how the drug dealers and cops interact without any sign of accountability. This resulted in the author being in a general state of fear while working on the book.

But with time, McNally said that sympathy for the drug dealers and the police developed.

With the release of the recent crime stats the boom in books around the police has been evident. What is also necessary is the need for narrative, reporter-based journalism to bring together the comprehensive picture on the state of crime and the police in the country.

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